Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his allies, Makinde, Ikpeazu, Ortom risk losing out in PDP
Following what they consider as attempt to blackmail and arm-twist the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his allies, some hotheads in the party may fight back viciously to arrest the move.
Sources revealed that these PDP hotheads are considering persuading the party to move ahead in the presidency battle without Wike and his supporter governors in Benue State (Samuel Ortom); Abia State (Okezie Ikpeazu) and Oyo State (Seyi Makinde).
Also, the group is considering pulling the rug off the feet of the four governors, which could be dissolution of excos of the party in their states and constituting caretaker committees outside their control or taking other extreme measures.
The PDP group is also considering engineering the withdrawal of support for Ikpeazu and Ortom in their senatorial quest and Makinde, who is seeking reelection as governor, if the PDP does not do well in the presidential election in Abia, Benue and Oyo states.
Daily Sun gathered that the PDP hotheads came to these considerations following their conclusion, after Atiku’s meeting with Wike and his group in London last week, that the governors have no tangible case or good reason other than selfish for their actions.
Sources revealed that at the London meeting, the Wike group gave removal of PDP chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and his replacement with somebody from the South, as conditions for their cooperation.
Part of the reasons the Wike group gave for wanting Ayu out was that he is partisan, which they said came to the fore when he called Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, hero of the PDP presidential primary for withdrawing from the race for Atiku, it was gathered.
Daily Sun learnt that the Wike group has however learnt that removal of Ayu and his replacement have constitutional implication as there is provision that when a chairman leaves mid-way in his tenure, his replacement, in acting capacity, would be the deputy chairman from his zone, pending the organisation of a national convention to pick a new chairman.
The Wike group learnt that since it is not possible to organise a convention before the general election to elect a new chairman, their desire for the position to move to another zone, if Ayu goes, will not materialise, it was learnt.
Apart from Wike, who dwelled much on Ayu, it was learnt that the other governors could not say what Atiku and PDP has ever done against them.
Daily Sun gathered that following the PDP hotheads’ conclusion that there appears to be a dead-end in talks between Atiku and Wike, they have resolved not only to ignore the Rivers State governors and his allies but also to put the heat on them in the coming months.
The consideration for Abia State, sources revealed, is to revisit the process that produced Governor Ikpeazu’s preferred governorship candidate, Prof. Uche Ikonne, and the governor as senatorial candidate.
The PDP hotheads reckoned that since Abia State used three-man delegates, whose election was said not to have taken place, in its primaries, the candidature of Ikonne and Ikpeazu could be quashed while the PDP supports a governorship candidate from another party as well as former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) senatorial candidate, who is running against Ikpeazu.
Part of the measures to upturn Ikonne and Ikpeazu’s candidature may be to support the litigation against their emergence behind the scene as well as providing evidence in court showing that their candidacy did not follow due process, sources revealed.
In Benue State, the PDP hothead said that if Ortom works against Atiku and the party, they will ensure he loses the senatorial election, since the presidential and National Assembly elections are holding the same day.
Besides, they said that since Ayu is from the same senatorial zone as Ortom, the PDP chairman’s removal will negatively affect the governor’s chances in the senatorial election.
In Oyo, the PDP hothead said that if the party does not win the majority in the presidential election, following Governor Makinde’s lethargy to work for its success, they will mobilise against him in the governorship poll by supporting another candidate.
Just as for Benue, the PDP hotheads may also work against Wike’s preferred candidate in the governorship election, by either supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) or Labour Party, if the governor works against Atiku in the presidential election.
Meanwhile, Daily Sun gathered that what befell governors of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003 when they entered into a deal with then President Olusegun Obasanjo to work for him in the presidential election and in return get his support for the governorship election awaits Wike, Ikpeazu, Ortom and Makinde.
In the 2003 elections, the AD governors, after working to ensure Obasanjo’s victory in their states, in the presidential election, lost their posts to PDP candidates in the governorship election, which followed, as Obasanjo reneged on his promise.
The PDP hotheads have vowed to ensure that any governor who works against PDP in the presidential election would lose out in the National Assembly, governorship and state House of Assembly elections, just as AD governors lost out in Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo states in 2003 following their mistake in deal with Obasanjo’s PDP.